Michigan Gets Noel's Attention

Another Pahokee, FL standout… another Michigan offer. This time the recipient is 5-10, 175-lb. DB Merril Noel. Michigan's strong show of interest combined with the prodding of former teammates has him giving the Wolverines a serious look.

Sam Webb:  When did that offer come through for you?

Merril Noel:  "The offer came through like last Thursday, sometime at the end of the week."

Sam Webb:  Was it out of the blue or were you expecting it to come?

Merril Noel:  "I had talked to Coach Smith about it, but then I had lost contact because my phone had got messed up and then he came down to our school.  (Later on the phone) he let me know the good news."

Sam Webb:  What other offers do you have at this point?

Merril Noel:  "I have nine other offers.  FIU, Florida State, Georgia, Wake Forrest, Tennessee, Colorado State, Purdue...  I can't remember who else right now."

Sam Webb: Now that Michigan joined in, where do the Wolverines stand with you?

Merril Noel:  "They are up there because we have former teammates that play for Michigan and they're having a good (time) so far.  Michigan is a great place to be I guess, because our players are going up there and showing what they're able to do."

Sam Webb:  They were putting in work this spring.  Vincent really turned a lot of heads.  People weren't expecting him to come in and be as successful as he was because he is on the smaller side.

Merril Noel:  "He has the heart of a lion though.  I'll tell you that.  That's the way it is in Pahokee.  We don't produce big tall guys and stuff, but we always have heart.  We are ready to go.  We know how to get what we want."

Sam Webb:  I hear that.  So tell me, how hot is it in "Muck City" right now?

Merril Noel:  "It's been steaming the last couple of days.  You could boil an egg outside (laughing)."

Sam Webb:  It obviously gets a lot cooler in Michigan.  Is that something that you have thought about?

Merril Noel:  "Yeah, but it really don't matter what type of weather I play in.  I just like to play the sport."

Sam Webb:  What about distance from home?  What is your mom saying about you going far away?

Merril Noel:  "I am the first child, so she wants to be close to me.  She doesn't want me to go too far, but the decision is on me."

Sam Webb:  What are you thinking right now?  Do you think distance is going to play a role in your decision?

Merril Noel:  "Not really.  I just want to be able to come in and make a change and be a part of the team and make plays… be able to play."

Sam Webb:  I had some guys that came down and watch you at a seven on seven at South Florida.  They said that you were really doing your thing out there.  Was that sort of a coming out of party for you?

Merril Noel:  "Oh yeah.  When I first signed up for it, I was like, 'it is an opportunity for me to just showcase all my skills.'  I wasn't noticed at all before the camp had started.  After I did my thing at the camp that is when I started to get noticed.  It just let everybody know that I can play with the best out there."

Sam Webb:  Why don't you give a little scouting report for the people that haven't seen you play.

Merril Noel:  "Love to be in a receivers face.  I'm hands on all of the time.  I never take plays off, I have quick feet, and react quick."

Sam Webb:  I hear you play both safety and corner.  Is that what you'll be doing again this year?

Merril Noel:  "I play numerous positions. I play outside linebacker, slot corner, safety and also cornerback.  Like this year, I'll be on the offense running the ball.  I play a little bit of everything just trying to make plays."

Sam Webb:  You obviously have a lot of different offers coming your way now.  Last year both Brandin (Hawthorne) and Vincent made early decisions.  Is that something you looking to do or are you looking to make it play out a little bit longer?

Merril Noel:  "It depends on how everything goes.  Like this summer I'm going to take some visits and how everything turns out on the official visit that I take."

Sam Webb:  Do you think you going to take a visit to Michigan?

Merril Noel:  "Oh yes sir, yes sir."

Sam Webb:  What about camps; are you going to camp anywhere this summer?  When I talked to Zachary Allen, he said that you all were going to go on a camping tour that you guys might try and make it up to Michigan.

Merril Noel:  "Yeah we are always talking about going places together.  We are supposed to be going to Tennessee for their camp, try to get other players offers.  We are already out there, so we are just trying to help our teammates also.  We are looking out for everybody else, trying to put our other teammates out there.  We are supposed to be coming up that way also."

Sam Webb:  Let's say you getting ready to make your decision, whenever that is, what are going to be the most significant factor in that choice; what is going to play into it?

Merril Noel:  "Playing time and academics."

Sam Webb:  Do you have a favorite at this point on your list?

Merril Noel:  "Oh no, I am still open."

Sam Webb:  Do you even have a top five right now?

Merril Noel:  "No, I'm still open."

Sam Webb:  I see you've done a lot of these interviews (laughing).  What about your teammates that are being recruited… Zachary Allen, Chris Dunkley, DeJoshua Johnson, Richard Ash… do you guys ever talk about maybe going to the same school?

Merril Noel:  "Me and Zachary talked about it.  Actually we talked about it today.  Everyone has their different schools that they like, but we play different positions.  It would be crazy if we all went to the same school."

Sam Webb:  Do you think that is a possibility for all of you, or is it mainly you talking to Zachary?

Merril Noel:  "It's me and Zachary mostly because me and Zachary are real close."

Sam Webb:  Zachary told me he was really close with Brandin Hawthorne.  Were you tight with Vincent, Brandin, or Martavious?

Merril Noel:  "Yeah, yeah.  We're former teammates and Brandin is part of my family.  He's a cousin."

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